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Israel arrests 80 Palestinians over missing teenagers

By Ians

London, June 15: The Israeli army has arrested about 80 Palestinians over the kidnapping of the three teenagers who have been missing since Thursday evening from the West Bank, a media report said Sunday.

Israel has said that an "intensive operation" is underway to find the two 16-year-olds and one 19-year-old, BBC reported.

According to sources, Palestinian officials are also cooperating with the search operations.

The teenagers have been identified as Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19.

They were last seen in the area of Gush Etzion, a bloc of Jewish settlements located between Jerusalem and the predominantly Palestinian city of Hebron as they were heading back home from their evening lessons.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday said the three were kidnapped by a terrorist organisation and holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for the teenagers' wellbeing.

In response, Palestinian officials have pointed out that the three went missing from an area under full Israeli control.

The disappearance of the three teenagers is being seen as the biggest strain on relations between the two sides since a Palestinian unity government was announced in April.


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